Marketers work with large volumes of data every day. You should always make sure you read and interpret the data in a meaningful way. Google Looker Studio is a powerful tool that you can use to visualize data from different sources. We will show you what you should pay attention to when using Google Looker Studio, and how you can utilize the tool in the best way for your online marketing activities.
Google Looker Studio is a free and convenient tool for generating reports involving multiple data sources. It was first offered as “Google Data Studio” by Google in May 2016 (in beta version). Since then, the developers from Mountain View have repeatedly adapted the tool based on user feedback.
In September 2018, a new version of Google Data Studio was released, allowing users with a Google account to create unlimited reports. At the end of 2022, the tool was renamed Google Looker Studio.
Google Looker Studio is suitable to create any reports for customers or for your own success monitoring. Ultimately, the tool is always a good choice if you want to process data in an appealing, easy-to-understand, and clear manner.
Prior to using Google Looker Studio, you should set a precise goal for your data analysis. Of course, this basic rule does not only apply to Looker Studio, but also to other web analysis tools such as Google Analytics or Ryte. With the right goal in mind, data compilation becomes more structured and efficient.
After all, you’re not just collecting data as an end in itself, but to achieve something with it. So, just try to think about a few goals for data visualization based on your marketing objectives.
Possible questions for the visualization could be, for example:
Google Looker Studio can, for example, access data collected by other products of the Alphabet Group, such as Google Analytics, Google Search Console, or Google Ads. Links with Google Cloud SQL or Google Sheets are also possible.
You can pull a total of over 800 data sources as well as data from other tools via almost 700 so-called “connectors”. In addition, tables and databases can be connected to Google Looker Studio. For example, you can also incorporate data from Bing Ads, your Amazon Seller account, Criteo or LinkedIn via the Partner Connectors. It is also possible to connect to ERP systems or mail programs.
You can find an overview of all connectors here.
Figure 1: Google Looker Studio connectors
In addition to these data sources, any data can be imported into Data Studio using SQL databases or even .csv files. This way you can also import valuable data from Ryte into Google Looker Studio.
This results in countless possibilities to create meaningful reports. But as already mentioned: Without a precise goal, you should not combine all possible data sources, otherwise clarity and efficiency will suffer.
In the course of the introduction of the GDPR in Europe, the data protection measures for Google Looker Studio have also been significantly adjusted. Before you process data with the tool, you should therefore store all necessary information in the tool and accept the data processing conditions of Google.
Figure 2: Google Looker Studio privacy settings
To create a report with Google Looker Studio, you must first set up the appropriate connectors. This is necessary to access the required data.
Figure 3: Authorize a Google Analytics connector
As soon as the data is available via the connectors, you can visualize it in Google Looker Studio. The following screenshot shows you how extensive the tool is and how many visualization options there are. With just a few clicks, you can change the content of your reports as well as modify the display of the respective tables.
Figure 4: Easily create your own reports with Google Looker Studio
This brief insight alone shows once again that you should definitely define analysis goals before using Google Looker Studio. Otherwise, the whole system can quickly become confusing and rather useless for reporting. In particular, it can be a bit exhausting for beginners to pick the right dimensions for the dashboard.
Regardless of the type of data visualization, you can determine the design of your reports yourself. You can define primary and secondary colors as well as fonts in the tool. You can also change your layout. For example, you can set formats and spacing in the side menu. In addition, reports are easy to “brand”. You simply insert an image or a text field.
This comes in handy when you create dashboards for customers. Not only are the numbers easier to grasp in an attractive design, but your reports also look more professional.
All created reports or charts can be shared with other users by clicking on the share icon. These users do not need to have their own access to the data sources used but can read your reports immediately.
If you share your report with others and these users have access to the same data sources as you do, they can adapt the shared report themselves if necessary.
Regardless of access rights, reports from Google Looker Studio are always interactive. For example, the recipients of your reports can change the analysis period themselves.
Google’s Looker Studio offers you countless possibilities to display data accurately and clearly. We have already shown you how to build your own report with Google Looker Studio. Given the wide range of possibilities, it may take a while until you create the perfect template for your reports.
However, in most cases, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel for your data analysis. In the “Template Gallery” complete marketing templates have already been uploaded by the Google Looker Studio team. In addition, you can access all templates that have been published by the community. Here you can find the template gallery.
It’s worth checking out the Report Gallery from time to time to look for suitable templates or dashboards. Of course, you can also use it just for inspiration and customize both data sources and layouts to your liking.
This handy Google Analytics report shows you all the important data about users of your websites tracked with Google Analytics. You click on the report and then on the desired data basis.
Figure 5: Google Analytics Audience report
This e-commerce report template is designed to help you visualize your e-commerce shop’s performance. To use it, it is best to copy the template first.
Figure 6: E-commerce report template
Figure 7: Copy the e-commerce report template
When copying, you can choose which data source your report should be “fed” with.
Figure 8: Choose the data source for your e-commerce report
Google Analytics can give you valuable insights into how your content is received by users. This content report template is very suitable for anyone who is responsible for content production and analysis. Of course, as for all templates, you can delete unnecessary data sources in your report. Besides that, you simply select the desired Analytics property from which the data should originate.
Figure 9: Google Looker Studio content dashboard
With the Web Analytics dashboard, you can combine your most important data from Google Analytics, Google Ads, and Google Search Console. This will give you a perfect overview of the performance of your web project. To customize the report, copy the template and edit it with your data sources.
Figure 10: Visualize Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Google Ads data in Google Looker Studio
With this Google Ads report, you can easily present the key conversion data from your Google Ads account. This dashboard provides valuable insights for reporting to your Google Ads clients.
Figure 11: Google Ads dashboard in Google Looker Studio
You can structure reports across multiple pages. For example, it is possible to export your reports by page to a different device or, when dealing with international websites, to export each page of your report to a different country.
Figure 12: Add a new page to your Google Looker Studio report
You can add a filter function to each of your reports. This allows users to customize the data view according to their needs.
Figure 13: Add a control to your Google Looker Studio report
Especially for reports with multiple pages, not having to create the same field every time can be helpful. You can choose to have a field appear in the same place on each page of the entire report. For example, this is useful for footers or headers.
Figure 14: Make fields appear on report level
With Google Looker Studio, Google provides you with an extremely convenient tool that you can use for individual reporting. The possibilities for visualizing data are continuously being developed and you can now connect almost any data source.
As a tool, Looker Studio is very comprehensive, so you can quickly get lost in the numerous functions. To get started, we therefore recommend using standard templates or dashboards from the community. This way you can familiarize yourself with the many different functions and professionalize your reports bit by bit.
Since users can utilize a wide range of data sources, including CSV tables, it is nearly impossible to describe the entire capabilities of the tool in an article like this. So here’s one more piece of advice: just try out Google Looker Studio and see what data you can combine and how. If you set your analysis goal in advance, you have already established the golden thread. You just have to follow it!
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This post was originally published in November 2018 and has been updated in February 2023.
Published on 02/14/2023 by Philipp Roos.
Philipp is an extended member of the Ryte family and supports Ryte with the latest SEO know-how and digital marketing news.
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